Should New Jersey Officially Declare May “Birding Month”?

Along with being a natural wonder, Cape May County’s birds are an economic bonanza.

Every Spring, millions of birds migrate through the coastal edges of southern New Jersey at the same time human “birders” spend millions of dollars to travel and watch the colorful creatures. In hopes of further boosting the revenue end of this phenomenon, Republican Assembly members Dianne Gove and Brian Rumpf have proposed legislation to officially declare May “Birding Month in New Jersey.” In their Joint Resolution No. 48 they note, “The United States Fish and Wildlife Service estimated that the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge generates $8 million a year in economic activity in its region, including $4 million in direct spending… A study prepared for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection estimated that the shorebird migration spectacle along the Delaware Bay has an economic impact of at least $17 million each year in New Jersey alone, and a Cape May County Tourism Report estimated that over 11% of tourism expenditures in the county are attributable to birding.” The Atlantic City Press reports the estimate that birding and related outdoor recreational activities account for more than $500 million of Cape May County’s nearly $5 billion tourism economy. Go birds.